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On disc: Mhorgl

Antinomian - Mike Thompson - 8 stars


(self-released - 2010)

When most people think of Australia they would probably think of Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House or perhaps the country's high-achieving sporting tradition. Not me. I think of extreme metal. With a legacy of bands such as Deströyer 666, Vomitor and Wardaemonic amongst many others it seems to me that the country down under is a great spawning ground for brutality in music form. Mhorgl is here to extend this tradition!

Antinomianism is, according to Wikipedia, "a belief or tendency in most religions that some therein consider existing laws as no longer applicable to themselves." Taken into the context of this album it could be argued that this reflects Mhorgl's take on black metal strictures pertaining to the band's own music.

You see, Mhorgl have managed to bridge the chasm between raw and melodic black metal in a fashion that leaves intact the best parts of each style. The sheer, frenetic pace of raw black metal á la Marduk and a myriad clones, merges seamlessly with the ear-catching melody that one might expect from a Watain album.

It seems that it is rarely straightforward with Mhorgl though and they further distance themselves from the black metal norm with odd time changes, acoustic passages and sections that could only be described as discordant. The band also makes use of more accessible passages, notably in the song Necrohatred (A Tribute To Darkthrone). This particular song actually bares little resemblance to Darkthrone, past or present, but is an easier listen than the majority of the album.

The album finishes with a cover of Ozzy Osbourne's classic Mr Crowley... only it sounds nothing like the original! The only hint that this is a cover is the lyrics, the rest of the song showcases what I think must be the absolute insanity of the members of Mhorgl. Its an interesting listen, albeit I think the band pushed the bounds a little too much with the experimental sound!

Overall, a savage listen and an interesting album that I would recommend black metal fans to check out.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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